Free to Live by God’s Unspoken 'Yes'
By Arthur J Licursi (Updated 7.7.22)
Part 1 - A Lesson in Christian Decision Making
Christians are to be guided in their daily lives by the revealed written “word of the Lord” as seen in the Apostle Paul’s thirteen epistles, with emphasis upon his last 7 ‘prison epistles’ of Ephesians to Philemon. Thus, we have a “sure word of God” within our Bibles. Then also the written word is confirmed to us, personally, by the indwelling revelatory work of “the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus” as our teacher. Paul prayed accordingly for the Ephesians grace believers saying;
“16 [I Paul] Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; 17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation In The Knowledge of Him [Christ]: 18 The Eyes of Your [soul mind’s] Understanding Being Enlightened; that YE MAY KNOW what is the hope of his calling, and what The Riches of The Glory of His Inheritance [already] IN The Saints,” (Ephesians 1:16-18 (KJV)
Being so well equipped for Christian living, it is sad that there are so many Christians who spend great deal of time and effort trying to determine God’s will. Their concerns are often for a particular situation, such as might require a decision for what they face. They wait for instructions from the Lord as to what they should do in the matter at hand. They live as though it were still “time past” when men of God did not have the liberty that we today have in Christ, or the written “word of truth,” and the abiding indwelling “Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.”
First, we as grace believers today are to be intelligized by the written “word of God” instructing us as to how we are to live. Yet, most unlearned Christians seek to live by looking guidance in unreliable outer signs, seeking confirmation of God’s will by some supposed ‘indicator,’ such as “putting out a fleece.” Yet later, Jesus said on two occasions that “a wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign” (Matthew 12:39; 16:1-4). This is not how God instructs us during today’s Gentile age of “the dispensation of the grace of God.”
Actually, His will is for us to simply to ‘do what His word tells us … He is doing.’ We should know by His word that is written to us through our Apostle, Paul (Rom. 11:13), … and then go and do that. Beyond that, He trusts us to work-out the details of our life in confidence… without any extra-biblical or emotional signs.
“For all the promises of God in him [In Christ] are yea [yes], and in him Amen [so be it], unto the glory [expression] of God by us.” (2 Corinthians 1:20 (KJV)
You see, today we live in what Paul calls the “But Now” wherein “Now the Lord is that spirit” (2Cor 3:17); indwelling every believer’s spirit as “the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:1a; cf., Col 1:26-27, 1Cor. 6:17).
I find that most often in my life that the Lord rarely guides me by impressing me with what He ‘does want me to do.’ I just do as I inwardly know that I am free or at liberty to do. We as grace believers are free to “live and move and have our being in Christ” as Paul said in Acts 17:28.
So, I’m free to live in accord with the Scriptures and by the inner governance of Christ in my spirit. For He is my indwelling Lord, Governor and Master, as the ever-present captain of my life! He has made us free to live as we learn to live by the knowledge that we have from His written word … then as the “the Spirit of life” either permits us or not. Note by the example below how that “the Spirit” would NOT permit Paul and company to go to “Bithynia.”
“After they were come to Mysia, they assayed [planned] to go into Bithynia: BUT The Spirit Suffered Them NOT.” (Acts 16:7)
His Spirit in me is always faithful to let me know what He does “NOT” want me to do. I never can say I didn’t know. I depend upon the living “word of God” within me to bring to my consciousness His will… as He faithfully divides my soul’s ‘wants’ from His Will for me as witnessed by “the Spirit” within me.
“For the Word of God Is Quick [Living], And Powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the Dividing Asunder of Soul and Spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the [my soul’s] heart.” (Hebrews 4:12 (KJV)
We have somewhat of an example of such spontaneous living from our prior life when we served the Sin-nature. We then automatically functioned as a sinner quite naturally, as a self-loving, self-seeking person, as an independent, self-reliant, self-getter. At that time, I just did what I reasoned and wanted to do. Yes, there may have been a twinge of conscience but that did not impede most of my good and bad doings. But now it is different since I have the knowledge of Sin by His “written word” through Paul and also, I have “the spirit of life in Christ Jesus” Withn Me with His Mind and His Will.
Now, as a believer indwelled by Christ’s “Spirit of life” and having the written “worth of truth,” my proper living and doing is similarly automatic and spontaneous as was my former fallen inclination was … unless and until it is impeded by my awareness of the Lord’s will to the contrary. Now, by His life within us, we have an Automatic Innate Sense of His Spirit that serves to prompt or restrain us, thus guiding us from within. Now we are absolutely free “to live, move and have our being in Christ” (Act 17:28) who is now our trustworthy innermost “life” (Col. 3:4a).
“For as many as are Led By The Spirit of God, they Are The [Matured] Sons of God.” (Romans 8:14 (KJV)
So, we as believers clearly know what we are NOT to do by His Inward Restraining Sense that we have by Christ’s indwelling “spirit of life.” This I call His “NO”! We all hear His No! within.
“He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.” (John 8:47).
Part 2 – Walking in Liberty and Knowledge and Agreeing with His “NO!”
Having His written word and Christ’s Spirit of life within, we need only to recognize that we also must obey His inner “NO”! This inner sense of “NO!” is His inward restraint, an inner knowledge, by an intuitive sense of the Spirit. This is most commonly known to us by the “conscience” of our spirit, which speaks into our mind’s consciousness. His inward restraint is sensed as a sort of “NO!” We innately know when we should NOT do, pursue, or to say this or that. This is felt as a sense of inner limitation, a heaviness, a restraining sense as we may be considering “doing” or “saying” this or that.
This sense of “No!” is contrary to what we in and of ourselves might prefer or “want to do” in a matter. The word “conscience” in Greek is “sundenesis,” meaning “a co-perception.” This is an indwelling sense that is deeper than our mind. It is and entirely different function that we have only by the Spirit speaking in us to guide us according to His will.
“For it is God which worketh IN You both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Phili. 2:13).
“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ [at the Rapture]:” (Philippians 1:6 (KJV)
When we agree with the Lord’s restraining sense of No! within us, we are then ‘dying to self,’ to our self-desires. That dying to self, permits His life to come forth, being manifested to accomplish whatever He wants.
Yes, we sometimes fail to agree with His will. Nevertheless, we can get up to walk again by ‘the word and the Spirit.’ Our failures, while we are learning Christ in us, will never invalidate who we are in Christ as God’s children. We will always have Christ in us as our real and abiding life whether we succeed or fail in our obedience to His will because He is faithful.
“[Even] If we believe not [are unfaithful], yet HE ABIDETH FAITHFUL: he cannot deny himself.” (2 Tim. 2:13)
Allegorically, my own physical children are mine by my life that irrevocably remains in them, be they good or bad. We as believers have His life in this frail earthen vessel (2Cor 4:7), so yes, at times we fail by choosing to live as an independent self; leaving who we really are in Christ to seek our own way.
“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12).
So, we at times may turn away from the Lord in our spirit, but we always remain a child of the Father by His life-seed within us. Being “Sealed with His Spirit” (Eph 1:13), my salvation and union with him is ever-present and eternally secure.
My being born physically, never was dependent upon anything I did. It was the result of the procreative work of my earthly father with my mother. Likewise, my heavenly Father brought me to a new life to be who I am entirely by His work through Christ’s cross. His work was for me and now He is in me. I simply believed and “received Him [Jesus]” (John 1:12) as the Father’s only begotten Son and as my Savior. Now I am of God the Father’s life-giving “Seed, which is Christ” (1Peter 1:23, Gal. 3:16). His Spirit came into the womb of my human “spirit of man” and I was thereby regenerated with Christ’s “Spirit of life” in my spirit.
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;” (Titus 3:5)
After our salvation, when we are either disobeying or about to disobey His will for us, we will recognize it … by an inner sense of distress. This distress should ultimately turn our heart back to Him, to abide our soul in union “Christ who is our [my] life” (Col 3:4a). Recall how the prodigal son ultimately “came to himself” and returned to his father. We can learn from our failures, knowing we are never to be condemned.
By our regeneration, Our Father’s life that is in Christ is now within our spirit and that’s where we are to abide, in blessed union with Him. We ultimately return to who we are at our core – as the regenerated “children of God.” In our spirit we enjoy the “Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:2), as “our life” (Col. 1:27) with His empowerment and guiding hand.
At our regeneration, Christ’s indwelling resurrected Spirit swallowed up our human spirit, such that we are now “one spirit” (1Cor 6:17) with him. Paul very often refers to this “one spirit” in us simply as “the spirit” (Rom. 1:9), being the one eternally mingled spirit within us. Imagine, God dwelling in us, as the New Us!
Our spirit now is spontaneously and eternally alive by Christ life in us. Thus, we may often hear Him speak by the sense of ‘NO!’ Christ’s “Spirit of life” in us is spontaneous, innate, and intuitive… with accord with His “nature” (2Pet. 1:4). Thus, we have His “Unspoken Yes” all the time as we “live and move and have our being in Him.” We’re free to live as we sense we are free to do… so long as our doing is not contrary to the revealed written “word of truth.”
The creation is evidence that life always flows spontaneously, or it’s not alive. A tree lacking the flow of sap is dead. Likewise, Christ as our life is always flowing within us, spontaneously. We’ll ultimately learn to know and not question the inner, intuitive sense that we have by His life. Again, His will for us will never contradict the written “word of God” that applies to us in this age of “the dispensation of the grace of God” (Eph. 3:2).
Yes, at times what we inwardly sense by His Spirit may be contrary to our self-desire or the logic of our mind. After all, His life is a life that’s deeper than our soul’s mind – it is Christ alive within our spirit. The inward sense is a predisposition that we have by His spirit. We have His Spirit within us, by which we “know all things” pertaining to “life and Godliness.” His Spirit and His grace “teaching us” (Tit. 2:11-12) and “is the truth” (1Jn. 2:20, 27). We simply abide in His unspoken ‘yes’ by walking obedience to the sense of His life within us (Rom. 8:4), until or unless we hear His No!
Allegorically, our awareness of His ‘Unspoken Yes’ within is much the same as when we are physically healthy and not conscious of any restraint in our body. We simply walk, moving spontaneously. But when something is wrong, when we are ill or injured physically, we feel a limiting sense of discomfort or restraint in body… similarly, we are to be inwardly ‘limited by His Spirit.’
So, God’s ‘Unspoken Yes’ for us is most often Without a Conscious Sense; but His “NO!” is always known to us by a conscious co-perceptive sense within – a sense of heaviness, a knot in our gut, an inner restraint, whereby we know that we should not do this or that.
Ours then, is always to obey this innermost ‘living Word,’ which is Christ alive within us. We should yield to Him, knowing that His will is His eternal best for us, no matter how it appears to us.
Now in faith, we love God our Father and His Indwelling Son, the Lord Jesus Christ… so we choose to freely live in accord with that love relationship, trusting our lives to Him.